SEMA News—June 2014
Wade Kawasaki was promoted from executive vice president to president and COO of the Coker Group. He will oversee all Coker Group brands and the six operating companies, including overall corporate infrastructure, strategic planning, acquisitions and business development. Based out of corporate headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Kawasaki will also travel to and maintain his office in the company’s new West Coast headquarters in City of Industry, California. Corky Coker will remain as CEO, and Kevin Loveday will continue as CFO, rounding out the executive team for the Coker Group. Coker Tire, Chattanooga, TN; 800-251-6336.
ESAB, a member of the Colfax group of companies, announced that Colfax Corp. has completed the acquisition of Victor Technologies Holdings Inc., a global manufacturer of cutting, gas-control and specialty-welding solutions. “The products, technology and expertise Victor brings to our portfolio, when combined with ESAB’s solutions, strengthens our value to customers globally,” said Ken Konopa, senior vice president of marketing and engineering for ESAB. “We anticipate a seamless integration experience for our customers, channel partners and associates.” ESAB, Florence, SC; 800-ESAB-123.
Warren Oil Co. Inc. announced the expansion of its plant in West Memphis, Arkansas. Warren Unilube Inc.—a new grease manufacturing and packaging plant at the location—has successfully completed trial runs and has begun full production. The plant is initially focusing on lithium, lithium complex, anhydrous calcium and calcium sulfonate greases. The new facility has an annual capacity of 10 million pounds, with the ability to expand with future demand. An estimated 50% of the plant capacity has been dedicated to private-label packaging, ensuring a high-quality product packaged exclusively for the customer.
Voxx Electronics Corp. has announced the winners of its Remote Start promotion, which ran from November 1, 2013, to February 28, 2014. The promotion included more than $35,000 in prizes, starting with a grand prize of a Klipsch Palladium P-39F home theater. The Midwest and East Coast had the largest number of entries. The grand prize winner of the Klipsch Palladium P-39F home theater—a $31,500 retail value—was Jared Cohen, Auto Action Group, Kenilworth, New Jersey. Second-place winner of a Klipsch Gallery G-28 home theater—a $2,949 retail value—was Mark McCormick, Micorp, Auburn, Massachusetts. Third-place winner of a Klipsch Gallery G-42 sound bar—a $699 retail value—was Tony Horton, Enormis Mobile Specialties, Erie, Pennsylvania. Voxx International Corp., Hauppauge, NY; 631-231-7750.
Wes and Vivian Rydell’s “Black Bow Tie” took home the Goodguys 2014 March Performance Street Rod d’Elegance award during the Goodguys 14th Meguiar’s Del Mar Nationals. The rare ’35 Chevy Standard Phaeton (one of 217 ever made) won the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award in Pomona, California. Fabricated, assembled, finished, upholstered and painted a two-tone maroon and black by Rad Rides by Troy, the Phaeton got its start 12 years ago at Rydell’s Toy Shop in Grand Forks, North Dakota, under the craftsmanship of Doug Pederson. Working off a Foose Design, Pederson modified a Roadster Shop chassis and did a substantial metal work on the body before shipping the car to Rad Rides by Troy, where technicians spent nearly a year finishing the car in preparation for the 2014 show season.
James Hetfield, lead man of the band Metallica, has an ever-growing stable of custom cars that have won some of hot rodding’s biggest prizes. His latest effort, a coach-built custom he designed with partner Rick Dore, is his most powerful statement yet. Known as “Black Pearl,” Hetfield’s latest car won the Goodguys’ 2014 Mother’s Custom of the Year award during the Goodguys 32nd annual All American Get-Together. “Black Pearl” is completely scratch-built. It’s not any particular make or model. Its sculpted, handmade aluminum body is inspired by the teardrop contours and seamless body transitions of coach-built European and American cars of the ’30s. It rests on a custom-built chassis that utilizes the outer frame rails of a ’48 Jaguar. In addition to the Goodguys 2014 Mother’s Custom of the Year, Black Pearl won the Sam Barris award as well as the Custom d’Elegance at the Sacramento AutoRama.
Lund International Holding Co., a portfolio company of Highlander Partners L.P., has acquired all of the operating assets of AMP Research. Lund will continue to use the trademarked Powerstep, Bedstep, Bedstep2 and Bedxtender HD product names included in AMP’s Innovation in Motion product lines. The current Tustin, California, location will continue to be the primary manufacturing facility, and AMP’s current workforce will join the Lund International team. Lund International, Buford, GA; 678-804-3767.
Champion Oil has announced that Tsengeg Orkhon Co. Ltd. is its exclusive warehouse distributor in Mongolia. Tsengeg is a recognized leader in gold and silver mining as well as in the distribution of commercial and industrial lubricants. Champion products will be offered in various categories, such as motor oils, transmission and hydraulic fluids, coolants, diesel motor oils, differentials lubes, greases, power-steering and brake fluids and automotive chemicals and additives.
Andrew Winkler was recently promoted to North American sales manager for the turbo precleaner product line of Maradyne Corp.’s Turbo Filtration division. Winkler is responsible for managing sales of U.S. and Canadian distributors, dealers and OEMs for the line and its newly released Extended Performance Air Cleaner system. Winkler was the regional sales manager at Pow-R-Quik Starters, another division of Maradyne, for three years.
Fox Factory Holding Corp. has closed its previously announced asset purchase of Sport Truck USA. Fox acquired the assets of Sport Truck for approximately $43 million, including approximately $1 million of estimated closing adjustments. The transaction was financed with debt and includes a potential earn-out opportunity of up to a maximum of $29.3 million payable over the next three years, contingent upon the achievement of certain performance-based financial targets.
Roadwire Automotive Innovation announced that industry veteran John “JJ” Marsh was appointed the company’s new-business development manager. According to Roadwire Vice President Dave Edmondson, Marsh is responsible for growing the sales of Roadwire’s legacy products, including leather interiors, sunroofs and seat heaters, as well as the company’s national and international network of professional restylers and OEM customers. “We are excited to welcome John to Roadwire and its family of companies, Signature Automotive Products, Classic Soft Trim and Distinctive Industries,” said Edmondson. “John brings a wealth of industry knowledge and relationships that will play a pivotal role in Roadwire’s continued growth.” Roadwire, Santa Fe Springs, CA; 951-965-6390.
The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation’s treatment room at the Children’s Blood and Cancer Center, part of Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, was updated in April with an Axalta Racing theme. An action shot of the No. 24 pit crew graces a large wall of the treatment room from floor to ceiling. The picture epitomizes teamwork, energy and strength, and the cabinetry has elements that replicate the toolboxes of Gordon’s team. The funds to sponsor the room were raised by volunteers from the Austin Chapter of the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation Promise Circle, with a significant contribution made by the Austin office of CBRE Group Inc. Axalta Coating Systems, Glen Mills, PA; 855-7-AXALTA.
Rick Rollins has been appointed to the advisory board of Marx Group Advisors. He will also serve as the Marx Group Advisors’ vice president. Since starting his career in 1970, Rollins has worked in nearly every segment of the aftermarket, from the repair shop level to distribution to manufacturing. He is the founder and president of Rollins Performance Marketing LLC and is currently vice president and general manager of Crane Cams in Daytona Beach, Florida, and a former SEMA Chairman of the Board. He is also the owner of Filter Solutions Technologies LLC, a manufacturer of high-end performance fuel-filtration systems and filters under the FST Performance brand.
The “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” recently took its audience behind the scenes at B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe) in its segment entitled “Making a Difference.” The two-and-a-half minute feature, available on www.putonthebrakes.org, includes a poignant interview with Doug Herbert, the veteran drag racer and B.R.A.K.E.S. founder, who explained how the fatal traffic accident that took the lives of his two young sons, Jon and James, inspired him to create the 501(c)(3) organization and the Teen Pro-Active Driving Schools, which have provided intensive driver training to more than 10,000 teenagers across the country since 2008.
QuickTrick Alignment has announced two high-powered industry partnerships with True High Performance Sales and BC Sales & Marketing. QuickTrick started as a garage-based business and has utilized many industry and state resources to build a global brand. True High Performance Sales, established in 1992, is owned and operated by Skeeter and Thomas Jourdan. Skeeter Jourdan has been involved as a SEMA manufacturers’ rep for more than 50 years. Thomas Jourdan currently serves as the chairman of the Manufacturers Representative Network. True High Performance Sales covers the Delta region of the United States. Bill Kendrick of BC Sales & Marketing Inc. became sole owner of the business in 1997 after partnering with Bob Christie until his retirement and buying his portion of the business. Kendrick’s son-in-law Brad Lane joined the team three years ago to help with the substantially growing business.
Innova Electronics Corp. has launched a new website (www.innova.com) featuring a new design that reflects the company’s commitment to the automotive diagnostic-tools market. The site now features product pages for its digital multimeters, electrical testers, mechanical testers, OBD1 tools and timing lights. Company information, technical support and manuals are also included on the site, in addition to repair information such as a diagnostic trouble-code library, tech tips, videos, pre-diagnosis worksheets, a glossary and a repair-shop and parts-store locator. The site also features information and access to RepairSolutions—a web-based service that was created to assist technicians of all levels in quickly diagnosing and repairing vehicles. Subscribers can view, save and e-mail the diagnostic data retrieved from a vehicle’s on-board computer(s) using an Innova diagnostic tool.